Valley View School District.
"It's fact of life: kids and french fries go hand in hand, but with childhood obesity on the rise we wanted to find a different—more healthful way—to serve french fries while keeping the same integrity as you would get from a fryer. First we infuse flavor into the potato with herbs or oils. Then we bake the fries at a higher heat. The end result is a more healthful frylike product, with a lot of flavor, that the kids love. We also like to keep the skins on most of our potato sides to maintain as many nutrients as possible.
"Potatoes lend themselves as a healthful canvas to build upon; so when we introduced our toppings bar, we wanted unique items that would be equally as healthful. The students love spicy things, so we cooked up a turkey chili that is really popular in the elementary schools. We have a variety of cheeses ranging from Monterey jack to different kinds of smoked cheeses. We make different kinds of chutneys and smoked vegetables with roasted garlic. We serve three different types of hummus—sun-dried tomato, pesto and traditional.
"While potato pancakes aren't all-together that unique, we serve them with a smooth cilantro-lime sour cream. The smoothness of the sour cream pairs nicely with the texture of the potato pancake."
University of California, Berkeley
"I introduced a traditional Irish potato dish called Colcannon into our cafè. It's a mashed potato made with sour cream, green onions, cheese and sautèed cabbage. We used mashed russet potatoes as our base, then added some grated white cheddar to it to pronounce the cheesy flavor profile. We serve it with corned beef and cabbage so it's comparable to an Irish theme meal. It's gone over really well, and students are genuinely surprised to find that there was cabbage in the potatoes.
"Aligot is a French cheese and garlic mashed potato dish we have had a great deal of success with. The goal with this dish is to create a stringy potato texture using a combination of cheeses, like Mozzarella and Gorgonzola. As you add the cheese to the mashed potatoes, the mixture becomes stiff and clings to the whisk, but if you keep going, it will eventually separate and create a stringy, flavorful cheese profile.
"As a spinoff of the traditional potato pancake, we are looking to pair it with a salmon cream sauce. We order the potato pancake as well as a salmon in a pouch from outside vendors. I prepare a basic white bèchamel sauce with a little liquid smoke. We deep fry the pancake and combine the two in the oven to let the flavors bake together. We serve the pancake a la king with vegetables and some red chopped onions.
"As a vegan side dish we prepare a tomato potato and pepper pèrigueux. It has a sort of a Moroccan spice profile with cumin, coriander and cinnamon."